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All comments by Craig Zastera
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Bill,
Personally, I do not play a “light opening bid style.”
But many do.
For example, I've seen frequent assertions that a partnership opens all 10 counts.

I've also seen (usually strong ) partnerships that open 1M with many 8 counts with a decent suit (8 HCPs as minimum strength for opening 1 of a suit is allowed by ACBL convention charts from “Basic+” on up. “Basic” chart requires 10 HCPs).

So how do such partnerships rebid after the uncontested auction 1-1 ??
I would suggest that the answer to that question would shed light on how 1 overcaller should rebid after a forcing 1 advance.
Nov. 23
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I'm happy to bid a natural invitational 3 with this hand given the OP methods (which are similar to what we play).
Nov. 22
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It is necessary to have a way to differentiate a competitive raise to 3 from a game invitational one.

It is also useful to be clear whether a jump to 4 shows a good hand (opening bid) or is (semi)pre-emptive. Just because RHO made a WJO does not mean LHO cannot have a strong hand.

A common agreement when there is no “cue-bid to the 3 level” to show a good (LR+) raise (i.e. a cue-bid that does not go beyond 3 of opener's suit) is to use *2NT* to show a good raise and the direct raise to 3M as “just competitive”.
It would be possible to reverse these (more in keeping with good/bad 2NT semantics) and use 3 as the invitational raise. But the point is one should have some way to distinguish a competitive raise from an invitational one.

On OP hand, I judge the South good enough for a GF raise (I do not play light opening bid style). Thus, I would have bid 3 (not 4 which I regard as big shape, 4+ trump and typically less than 10 HCPs).
Nov. 22
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Of course it is forcing as s have been agreed as trump.
If responder was concerned about possible 4-3 fit, he would have bid 2NT over 2 to find out.
Hence, his 3 is (naturalish) game try with 5 s.

Opener's 3 is therefore forcing, probably 3=6 majors.
Sure, responder could bid 4 (natural, passable) over this with an appropriate hand, but he cannot pass 3.
He could bid a non-forcing 3, though.
Nov. 22
ATB
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A small doubleton opposite partner's help suit game try is a difficult case.

I once lost a national event by failing to appreciate that a small doubleton is a pretty good holding opposite a HSGT when responder also has four strong trump.

My hand was something like AQTx-xxx-xx-xxxx and the auction had been 1-2-3(HSGT). Perhaps I should get partial credit for rebidding 3 (equivocation bid) rather than 3, but that was not good enough as partner, having made a very nice “lightish” HSGT, then subsided in 3. 4 was on and he indeed made 10 tricks with careful play.
My :“xx” proved to be worth two (ruffing) tricks in the play.
This was the last hand of a two day national (under 5000) event in which we finished second. Bidding 4 would have won the event. Of course, there may have been one or two other missed opportunities earlier in the event where better decisions would have sufficed also :-).
Nov. 21
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Not exclusion because no trump suit has been established.
If South had a (highly unlikely) hand that wanted to make a key-card ask (perhaps an Exclusion ask) in s, he would first establish s as trump by cue-bidding 2.
Then he could make his key-card ask next round.
Nov. 21
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My suggested 4 is simply a more descriptive alternative to a (natural quantitative) 4NT continuation.

Both calls are slam invitational, but 4 completes the description of shape (highlighting the stiff ), while 4NT would be a quantitative slam invite but not shed any additional light on responder's shape.

Here, knowledge that responder has a stiff might be just the info opener needs to determine if slam will be a good venture as my examples illustrate–the A and little else in that suit is good for slam whereas KQ(J) type holding is bad.
Nov. 21
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I'm amazed at the 2 response.
Most would consider that natural, weak, and highly NF.
With a GF hand and s, 3.
With an invitational hand and s, 2 (some might use 2, but we use higher cue as the raise and lower cue to show the “other” suit).

As far as OP question, it seems to me that 3rd hand's attitude is clear whether he plays the 5 or the 2, hence his play should be COUNT, IMO.
Nov. 20
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At matchpoints double would merely be “substandard” (I wouldn't do it).

But VUL at IMPs, I think double on this hand is approaching “silly” status.
Nov. 20
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I abstained for the same reason.
I am a “sound initial action” kind of guy, yet I consider OP hand an obvious 1 opener.
Nov. 20
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Could pass 3NT, but IMO responder's auction so far hasn't really shown the degree of slam interest we have.

If choosing to continue, I think 4 “bidding out my shape” is best choice. If partner continues with 4NT, that would be natural and “slam negative”, and I would then show him some mercy and pass.

If pard's hand is e.g.:
QJx-Axxx-Qx-QJxx
(an awful hand with which some would not even open),
then 6 is excellent.

Conversely, if pard holds:
QJx-KQJx-Qx-QJxx
then we want to stop in a NT game (and 4NT is not too high).
Nov. 20
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You wouldn't need a NF 3 when the reverse was 2.
In that case, responder uses 2NT as his Ingberman relay.
Nov. 20
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But if partnership plays “Ingberman” (or even Lebensohl) so that 2 (or 2NT) rebid by responder would be the way to indicate *weak* hands (i.e. those interested in stopping below game), why would this meaning suddenly be “reversed” on OP auction so that 2 now suddenly becomes the way to show a strong (in context) responding hand and 3 becomes a “weak” bid?

There may be some merit in discussing this specific auction type (i.e. opener's reverse after 1m-1N start) and agreeing to some different structure than what is used in other “opener's reverse” auctions.

But absent such explicit discussion and agreements (with which OPer question would not be relevent), I would always assume that “normal reverse structure” applied, i.e. that immediate 3 level suit rebid by responder was “strong” while 2 rebid would be used as prelude to some weak sign-off attempt next round.
Nov. 20
Craig Zastera edited this comment Nov. 20
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I don't really like the options provided.
Of course, (like all things bridge) the interpretation of OP auction is a matter of partnership understanding.

But suppose a partnership with “typical” agreements concerning bidding over opener's reverse.

Those would probably include “Ingberman”, i.e. that after opener's reverse the cheaper of 2NT or 2 of the unbid suit is considered “artificial” and with the primary purpose of showing a “weak” hand that wishes to suggest playing in some 3 level partscore (the Ingberman relay may in some cases have some “strong” options too as it is forcing).

With such an agreement, I see little reason why it should not (more or less) apply on OP auction. The fact that responder is a PH is irrelevent as his 1NT response indicates less than an opening bid whether he is a passed hand or not.

The upper limit for responder's 1NT is probably 10 HCPs.
That is easily enough for “game” opposite opener's reverse.
*9* HCPs would be enough, and in some reverse styles even a good *8* would be adequate.

So responder can easily have a hand with game-going strength with good (e.g. 4 card) support. Unless the partnership has decided to invent some special methods for rebidding over a reverse after specifically a (NF) 1NT response, then it seems clear that in an Ingberman context responder's 3 rebid in OP auction should show a maximum for his previous bidding (I would expect 9-10 HCPs) and good support (4 cards quite possible, but 3 might suffice since opener has shown 5+).

If responder wanted to show a minimum hand with 3+ s, he would (in an Ingberman context) rebid 2, planning to “correct” to 3 next time (note: if opener continued with a NF but naturalish 2NT over 2, responder might choose to pass instead, particularly at matchpoints).
Nov. 20
ATB
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Just show the results of this poll to partner/teammates.

The issue is entirely about whether North should
(a) make a game try
vs.
(b) simply bid 4 himself

with virtually no one thinking that the passing 2 is remotely “in the picture” for North.

Similarly, there seems to be little/no support for the view that the South hand is “too good” for a constructive 3 card raise showing “8-10 HCPs”.
Completely flat shape and two ghastly suits of Jxx (albeit JTx in one case) are poor enough that even if the expected upper limit for 2 (constructive) were 9 HCPs, this hand would probably merit a “downgrade.”
Nov. 20
ATB
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John,
I am aware about the “controversy” in the defintion of “help suit game try”.

I use the term primarily to indicate that my HSGT could be in a suit with as few as 3 cards (although it could also be, and often is, a 4 card suit, possibly even 5).
That is, to differentiate from a “long suit game try” aka “natural game try” which I believe should imply a 4+ card suit.

The meaning of the word “help” is that this is the suit where I need “Help” from partner in order to take care of potential losers. Since partner already knows that ACES are good cards, “help” refers primarily to secondary honors
(but shortness, e.g. a stiff, can also be considered “help”, particularly when partner has 4 trump).

So a suit like “xxx(x)” is not appropriate, because that is not a suit where “help” will be …. well, helpful.
Give partner something like QJx in that suit. That would be a brilliant holding opposite a help suit game try (which could well be a suit like Kxxx or KTxx), but just “wasted HCPs” opposite “xxx(x)”.

A game try based on “xxx(x)” should IMO be refered to as a “weak suit game try”. The idea would be to show a suit specifically with length but little or no honor strength.
The holding one would want opposite such a WSGT would be *shortness*. Secondary honors would be BAD opposite a WSGT.

IMO, you can't have it both ways. Either your game try is telling partner that secondary honors in the suit are GOOD or that they are BAD. With a HSGT, you are telling partner that such honors are GOOD.
Nov. 20
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simple suit rebids:
could be 6 but doesn't promise 6.
often just a good 5 card suit with no better alternative
A 6 card suit with 14 points would often be too
good for a simple 2 level same suit rebid

raises:
a minimum raise would normally show 3+ card support
I would think 4 card support with 14 points would likely
merit a jump raise
There might be hands that would raise with only Hx support,
but that would be unusual.
Nov. 20
ATB
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I did say that I thought a 3 game try was probably better than blasting with OP hand.

But the game try (even a good one like 3 here) does have some downsides:
1. defense will be more accurate when opener has made
a descriptive game try

2. When responder rejects the game try, we have to play
a level higher (than we would have if we'd passed).
When partner doesn't accept, there is no upside to
having tried.
Thus, there is a “tax” for inviting which means
that the game try strategy must show a considerable
profit in terms of consistently bidding the good
games and avoiding the bad ones in order to overcome
“headwinds” of this tax and of (on average) better
defense.

3. When you make a game try, you are depending on
partner to have good hand evaluation skills as you
are turning over a possibly delicate decision to him.
If his skills aren't so good, you might have been
better off just deciding yourself
(i.e. either pass 2M or blast 4M).
Nov. 20
ATB
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Help suit game tries are never made in suits like “xxx(x)”.
They always show a long (3+ cards) suit with at least one honor, could be two (as on OP hand).

An ideal suit for a HSGT is Axxx (or ATxx). But any long suit with an honor or two but missing an honor or two is OK (but some holdings are more ideal than others).
Nov. 20
ATB
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If making a game try with the North hand, a “help suit” try in s stands out.

Partner will know that honor(s) is(are) good and that side suit aces are good. North needs to tell him where secondary side suit honors and/or shortness will be helpful.

The K is far better than the K and significantly better than the K.
Even the J or (actual) JT are enormously helpful cards.
Shortness in s may also produce extra tricks. Imagine responder with :Kx for example.

The alternative would be a “short suit” try in s.
This is not as good as the help suit try because a short suit try suggests that secondary honors in either of the other side suits (i.e. other than opener's short suit) are more or less equally good.
But that is not true on OP hand. Secondary honors are not nearly as valuable as secondary honors and shortness will be more useful than shortness.
Nov. 20
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